Wednesday, 5 November 2014

The Cape Aloe

Are you like me, do you need to know about your plants in detail once they are in your loving embrace? Well, yesterday's delivery of (excuse me but my plant is a girl *blush*) Rosie led me to do some research; I'm sharing most of it here so you too can feel like a professional ;)

*  First I went to the RHS, naturally. They had virtually no information at all, in fact I was so shocked (it was like getting a googleplex) that here is the information they had. 

"What?!" I hear you scream.
"I know" say's I.

I mean even I have known since forever that it exudes a clear gel that eases minor burns, insect bite and rashes. I've heard it alluded about in face care products as great for re-hydration and toning! Come on RHS, look up Google images, Wikipedia even and write something!

*  So next on to the Kew gardens website and lo and behold we have some information..

Cape Aloe is pretty common then and grows in South Africa and Lesotho, though also very common in cultivation like Rosie. It is used for its colourless leaf gel in 'cosmetics, herbal remedies and food supplements' but also, and I didn't know this, for 'a bitter brown leaf exudate'

This bitter brown exudate is prepared from the cut area of mature leaves which are stacked and allowed to drip into a central well. This goop is then concentrated and dried to achieve a dark shiny crystalline form, referred to as 'Cape Aloes' It is taken as a laxative and purgative and may ease arthritis. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME

*  The Eden Project tells us that in it's natural state the single stemmed plant can grow up to 3.5 meters tall! I really don't think my little one will ever get there. The leaves are generally smooth in the centre (though there may be some spikes especially on the undersides) and go out to spikes along the edges, which is where is gets the name Latin name ferox (fierce).

*  So here is Rosie all settled in her new home and loving the camera for me....

And here are the flowers that would be produced been half a chance - pretty spectacular!

Google image 
I lastly leave you a photo of Rosie with her new friend Claude (yes he is a handblown glass snail) and a reminder that my Cape Aloe came as a gift from Jersey Plants Direct.



  1. A lovely post and pictures which had me nodding and smiling. I hope the Rosie likes her new home and does flower for you. Flighty xx

    1. Flighty my love, I think you are in the running for gent of the year. Your comments are always making me smile and wanting to write again xx

  2. The pictures are great. It is amazing you had search for information about an aloe plant. I used aloe for ages, mostly for injuries/burns, but it's nice to know all the other uses!

    Rosie looks happy and I can also guarantee she'll flower for green thumb:~)

    1. Thank you so much. Yep, there isn't loads of info out there which is weird. I've also used it for burns and especially sunburn. Rosie has already produced another little leaf so I do hope she is happy :D

  3. I've seen them growing and flowering in Madeira. They are wonderful,

    1. Now I have an urge to see them large and in their natural habit myself. Lucky you.

  4. Here is some more info for you from Rosie's home

    Catching up late, as we are in the throes of packing. I'm republishing my fire flowers post - and as I delete the original I'm harvesting your comment - which speaks to me so clearly 5 years later. We must have been blog friends pretty much since I started blogging?


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